KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Businesses across Tennessee and the country are dealing with a term called “quiet quitting.”

“Quiet quitting” means clocking in and doing the bare minimum at work to stay employed and business expert Leslie Beale with Profusion Strategies said the term means not being invested in your job.   

“‘Quiet quitting’ is really a new term to describe a phenomenon that we’ve experienced for many numbers of years. It really deals with employees who are not engaged in the work that they are doing.” Beale said. “It really is just a new name. We’ve had trouble and talked about employee engagement in the world of people development for 10, 15, 20 years.”    

TikTok, including other social media, has spread the notion to millions and millions of workers who are now in quiet quitting mode, but does a company have to accept that a certain percent of its workforce is not engaged?  

Robert Killefer creates jewelry combinations at JTV, it’s part of his job that he loves.

“I feel like home here. I love the people I work with. I learn every day.”

The 28-year-old said he’s used to moving around every few years, but he’s stayed at JTV — here in Knoxville — for more than four years because, to him, his job is more than a job. 

Killefer added, “Every day. Every time. Every new project I get – I learn something else and it builds up and builds up.” 

Tolly Harris, the senior vice president of Customer Experience, said keeping employees engaged and happy is not just about money. 

“A lot of people think that money is the most important thing. It isn’t,” he said. “Really culture and being appreciated and communicated to and engaged – those things are more important. That is one of our strengths – is our culture. Both our culture and how we treat people, and we care about each other.” 

Harris said in today’s business climate attracting and retaining employees is not easy.

“It’s definitely more competitive than it’s ever has been.” 

Senior Vice President of Marketing Kim Kanary agrees, which was why JTV offered its 1300 employees a lot of amenities.

“We have an on-sight wellness center. We have a gym — with fitness classes. We have a park. We hold events,” Kanary said.   

Both Kanary and Harris added attracting and keeping employees is all about helping them feel connected and engaged.

“My job is to create an environment to help people who can grow if they want to grow. My job is to support the people around me and make sure they have the tools they need to get the job done. And most people want that,” Harris said.

Kanary also believes employees need to know that the company cares.

“It’s not just something we say, it’s something we really live by. We genuinely care about each other as people and the company is very supportive of its people,” she said.   

Killefer said he feels connected with JTV and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

“It’s enriching and fulfilling the amount of knowledge I’ve gotten about this industry from just working.”

Beale added that while ‘quiet quitting’ involves the employee, it’s really a leadership issue, and good leadership can almost always prevent it.